Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
Secretary Salazar Appoints Members to the U.S.Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Committee
Policy Management and Budget
Members represent government, industry and public stakeholders
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today appointed 21 primary and 20 alternate members to an advisory committee that will guide and oversee implementation of the United States Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI). Convened under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the committee will serve as the initial USEITI Multi-Stakeholder Group and includes representatives from federal and state government agencies, companies and public stakeholders. The names of those appointed to the Committee can be found at the USEITI web site at: www.doi.gov/eiti.
“Today marks another significant step in USEITI implementation, and underscores the Administration's continued commitment to lead by example in promoting global transparency and accountability under the Open Government Partnership,” said Secretary Salazar, who serves as the senior U.S. official designated by the President in September 2011 to oversee USEITI implementation. “I look forward to working with this group in the new year as we work to forge open governments and institutions that are accountable to the people.”
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is a voluntary, global effort designed to increase transparency, strengthen the accountability of natural resource revenue reporting, and build public trust for the governance of these vital activities. Participating countries publicly disclose revenues received by the government for oil, gas, and mining development, while companies make corresponding disclosures regarding these same payments to the government, and both sets of data are reviewed and reconciled by a mutually agreed upon independent third party. Results are then released in a public report.
The design of each nation's EITI reporting requirements is country-specific and developed jointly by a Multi-Stakeholder Group comprised of members of the public, government, and companies through a multi-year, consensus-based process. The USEITI Advisory Committee will serve as the initial Multi-Stakeholder Group for USEITI implementation.